Staff Writer/Photo Editor
After a Morgan Classic victory, the Springfield College men’s volleyball program returned to the Mecca to play the SUNY Polytechnic Wildcats on Saturday, in a contest that was anything but a battle.
In a match that lasted just 53 minutes, the Pride took down the Wildcats in their fourth consecutive 3-0 sweep by scores of 25-10, 25-4, 25-10.
To open the first set, SUNY Poly was the first on the board, but didn’t manage to gain much headway through the rest of the set. After an attack error from the Wildcat’s Max Szuba, Springfield turned on the jets and left their opposition in the dust. The set featured blocks from Jonathan Rodriguez, Kyle Jasuta and Trevor Mattson as well as three aces from Ricardo Padilla Ayala propelling the Pride to a set one victory.
Set two showed more of the same from the Pride. They opened the set on a 4-0 run, but a kill from Szuba ended the first run, only for the Pride to start another, greater, run. Springfield killed the next six points while SUNY Poly were not able to manage one of their own, forcing themselves into a timeout.
Out of the halt, the Wildcats managed to get one point back before a service error by Connor Schultz turned it back over to Springfield putting Padilla Ayala behind the line again. He managed to put down another two aces before turning it back to SUNY Poly, who were denied by Mattson and Rodriguez on the next possession.
Follow the block, Springfield sent Sergio Figueroa to the service line where he strung together a six-point run featuring an ace. Finally, the Pride run was broken up by Derek Connelly giving SUNY Poly their fourth point, which was also their last of set two. With the ball back in their hands, Springfield sent Tucker Evans behind the line who put down an ace putting the Pride on 23 points. Two kills from Luis Vega put the Wildcats away with a final score of 25-4. Springfield displayed total domination in set two with nine kills in the column on a .750 clip.
Beginning set three, coach Charlie Sullivan decided against playing any starters and still, the Pride ran the floor. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead with kills from Sean Zuvich, Billy De La Espriella and an ace from Sergio Figueroa. The Wildcats showed some resilience early on, but Springfield managed to keep them in the rear view. With De La Espriella rolling behind the service line, the Pride kept their lead on an 8-0 run forcing another Wildcat timeout with the score at 14-7. The timeout proved to be ineffective as the Pride allowed just three more points in the set before completing their victory.
The Pride were led by Vega who notched five kills on a .714 hitting percentage, and Mattson who finished with three kills and five blocks.